Sprawlcast Ep 1: NIMBY CITY

We peel away the label to see what lies beneath

The Sprawl

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Sprawlcast has landed! It’s a monthly radio show and podcast for curious Calgarians who want more than the daily news grind.

For episode one, we go deep on the issue of NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard). We call people NIMBYs when they fight against basement suites, bus lanes or condo towers in their neighbourhoods. But what do we miss when we apply that label too hastily?

We peel away the NIMBY label and go underground — literally — to see what lies beneath.

We went to north-central Calgary, where Maple Projects, a Vancouver developer, has contentious plans to build a large mixed-use development on the former Highland Park golf course. Confederation Creek runs beneath the site in the Highland Valley, and locals opposed to the development are pushing to have the creek daylighted—or brought to the surface—as it was historically.

Both the developer and community leaders, who are at odds about Highland Village Green, agree that the City of Calgary’s process for developments like these is broken.

So we asked: what went wrong and what can we learn from it?

In the field for Sprawlcast Ep 1. Sprawl editor Jeremy Klaszus, CJSW volunteer Jordan Simpson and Marvin Quashnick of the Thorncliffe Greenview Community Association.

This episode features Alison Abbott and Marvin Quashnick of the Thorncliffe Greenview Community Association, Elise Bieche of the Highland Park Community Association, Ajay Nehru of Maple Projects, and City of Calgary planner Troy Gonzalez.

Clips from Councillor Druh Farrell, Councillor Gian Carlo-Carra, MLA Craig Coolahan and Mayor Naheed Nenshi are also included on this show. Sprawlcast is hosted by Sprawl editor Jeremy Klaszus.

If you’d like more background on the Highland Park development, there is lots of info on the city’s website—including the early findings of the Confederation Regional Drainage Study, which is mentioned in the episode.

Sprawlcast airs on CJSW 90.9 FM at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

If you rode the C-Train circa 1987 to 2008, you’ll probably recognize a familiar voice introducing and closing out the show (make sure to listen all the way to the end to hear the rest of the story)…

Holly McConnell, the longtime (now retired!) voice of the C-Train, in the Sprawlcast studio at CJSW.